Chelsea have shed an entire XI’s worth of first-teamers this summer, but there’s still players that are rumoured to be leaving Stamford Bridge before the transfer window closes.
After spending £600million last summer to finish 12th, the Blues have seen the likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Kalidou Koulibaly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mateo Kovacic leave the club.
And new boss Mauricio Pochettino may lose more high-profile names before the end of August.
We’ve taken a look at five of the players who may still be looking for pastures new in the final days of the window and where they might end up.
It’s a case of when, not if, Lukaku leaves Chelsea after his disastrous £97million transfer two years ago.
Having burnt his bridges with that interview, the Belgium international spent last season at Champions League runners-up Inter and the Chelsea hierarchy are desperate to get Lukaku’s monstrous wages off the books.
The player himself has rejected overtures from Saudi Arabia and has his heart set on a return to Italy. Inter are keen, but Juventus look the more likely to sign the 30-year-old and there’s been talk of a swap deal involving Dusan Vlahovic.
Having sold their entire midfield, with the exception of Enzo Fernandez, Chelsea’s apparent eagerness to sell Gallagher is something of a surprise.
“Gallagher’s perspective is that he’s a Chelsea player and he wants to fight for his place,” said journalist Ben Jacobs. “But Pochettino and the Chelsea board still need to get the squad size down.
“Whereas Pochettino quite likes Gallagher and he is not necessarily the first name out of the players that Chelsea need to resolve, I think the Chelsea board would have a slightly different perspective and would be prepared to sell Gallagher for the right price.
“There’s a few moving parts here. There’s a football decision to be made and Gallagher is quite happy to fight for his place after getting a lot of pre-season minutes. There’s the Pochettino perspective and he has been very impressed by Gallagher. He said that during the American tour.
“But if the right number is hit in terms of an offer, I think the Chelsea board would be prepared to sell him.”
Gallagher is one of many midfielders on West Ham’s shortlist.
Ziyech was on the verge of leaving Stamford Bridge last January, only for a move to PSG to fall through at the final moment following a fax mix-up.
And an £8million switch to Al-Nassar was cancelled last month after his medical examination yielded unsatisfactory results. The Saudi Arabian club were prepared to take him anyway but only on reduced terms.
But the Morocco international was not willing to accept the proposed pay cut despite the new offer including fitness-related add-ons that could have taken his earnings back up to the initial bid.
“Ziyech is prepared to contribute financially for the right European move,” claims Jacobs, but PSG are no longer interested and Ajax would have difficulty affording their former player.
It looks increasingly like Saudi Arabia or bust for Ziyech.
It was only four years ago that Chelsea rejected a £70million bid from Bayern Munich for Hudson-Odoi, the quick-footed winger with the world at his fingertips.
Fast forward to 2023 and the 22-year-old is the subject of a cut-price offer from Fulham after a rapid fall from grace. He spent last season on loan at Bayer Leverkusen, but scored just once in 21 games.
Fulham aren’t alone in their interest for Hudson-Odoi, with Italian side Lazio interested in taking him to the Stadio Olimpico. Whatever happens, it would appear that Chelsea have washed their hands of him.
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 2, 2023
After a successful breakthrough season in 2021-22, Chalobah’s playing time was restricted by the arrival of Wesley Fofana. After Fofana was injured, Benoit Badiashile was bought instead of giving Chalobah an extended run in the side.
And, now Fofana is injured again, Chelsea have signed Axel Disasi in a £38million deal. It’s pretty clear that the Chalobah is not considered good enough to be a first-choice pick at Stamford Bridge.
With Euro 2024 in mind, Chalobah – who is yet to earn his first senior cap for England – is understandably keen to play regular football, but Chelsea’s £45million asking price could potentially deter suitors.
Inter Milan and West Ham have both been linked with his signature. One to watch in the coming weeks.